You shouldn't need to force your apps to shut down, but it can occasionally help when something goes wrong.

Your iPhone and iPad is designed to handle app launching and switching automatically: After an initial launch, iOS will pause most apps when you leave them to save battery power, then resumes your current state when you open them back up again.

But some apps — especially the Facebooks, Pokémons, and big media apps of the world — don't always behave perfectly. If you run into an issue or crash an app, iOS may accidentally save that crashed state; when you go to relaunch it, you may just hit the crash point again. If this happens, you'll need to force that app to completely shut down and restart.

In the past, there have been advocates for force quitting any app you're not actively using, but we'd recommend against a force shutdown unless a crash or heavy data drain is involved — launching apps from a force quit consumes much more power and time than restoring from a saved state.

How to force quit an app on iPhone or iPad

  1. Double click the Home button (or 3D Touch press the left side of the screen on iPhone 6s or later) to bring up the fast app switcher.
  2. Navigate to the app screen you want to quit.
  3. Swipe up on the app card you wish to shut down by flicking it up and off the screen.

Around here, we do tend to force quit Facebook and Skype semi-regularly. That's because, historically, they've been offensively bad at power management and drawing data in the background.

How to force quit three apps at once on iPhone or iPad

You'll likely almost never want to force shut down more than one app at a time: It inevitably decreases performance and battery life since you force them to start over. But if you can't find the source of a rogue battery drain issue or are otherwise pressed for time and just need everything to stop, here's a quick (and rather silly) gesture to use.

  1. Double click the Home button (or 3D Touch press the left side of the screen on iPhone 6s or later) to bring up the fast app switcher.
  2. Navigate to the apps you want to force quit—up to three at a time.
  3. Using three fingers, swipe up on the app cards you wish to shut down by flicking them up and off the screen.

How to force quit an app without using the fast app switcher

If for some reason you don't want to use the fast app switcher interface to kill an app, you can still do it the old fashioned way: By holding down the Power and Home buttons.

  1. Visit the app that you want to forcibly shut down.
  2. Hold down the On/Off button until the "slide to power off" screen appears.
  3. Hold down the Home button until you're dropped back onto the Home screen.


There's a subtle difference in how the system tracks this version of force quitting, but the result is the same.

Questions?

Have any questions about force quitting apps? Let us know in the comments.